The 5 Freedoms

When it comes to the animals in our lives, what’s the best way to show the love?  Owning two retail stores for dogs and cats, I could say (and given the impact the weather has had on sales, I probably should say) you really need to spend some money.  I’m always concerned with Zip’s happiness, but I’m not always clear on whether I’ve been successful (pugs have those worried faces).  I’m up for the new toy, and definitely for the healthy treats (I know that short term anyway, that works) but I want to know that I’m providing for his fundamental emotional welfare.  It’s the least I can do to say thanks for all the companionship, snorts (and snores), love and loyalty.  And laughs.  I’ve been reading  Dog Body, Dog Mind by Dr. Michael W. Fox, so I’ll share with you the 5 Freedoms.  Dr. Fox writes that to get a sense of your animal’s happiness quotient,  see how you’re doing in providing the 5 Freedoms:

1. Freedom hunger & thirst
2. Freedom from pain, injury & disease
3. Freedom from discomfort (eg, temperature extremes, uncomfortable floor surfaces
4. Freedom to express themselves naturally
5. Freedom from fear & distress

Simple and powerful.  Agree?


February 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm 3 comments

Water Runs, Even in the Arctic

Glacial Waterfall Courtesy of Some Terrific Nature Blog

Yes apparently this photo is possible.  Even in arctic conditions, water can move.  We found this to be true this morning at Fetch.  Apparently, the glacier upstairs (in one of the vacant floors above) started to melt.  And water, we can confirm, does run downhill still.  While the store did not exhibit the magnificence of this glacier in the photo, there are similarities.

Cold. Water.

That’s about it.  We are, and will remain, open. However our credit card machines & computers are taking personal days. They may or may not come back.

January 25, 2011 at 9:51 pm Leave a comment

Fireworks Anxiety

Bulldog contemplating fireworks

Every year I read up again on fireworks/thunderstorm phobias to see if I can find any new information.  Just this morning I came across this post on Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue that is really thorough without glazing your eyes over.  It’s not new (quotes some pretty old Whole Dog Journal issues), but it’s really well done.  It talks about phobias, behavior modification, plant extract remedies (things like passion flower & valerian), the natural hormone supplement for insomnia (melatonin), flower essences (which treat on an emotional/energetic level), music therapy, hug therapy, and drugs.  Thank you YGRR for making my job so easy today.

July 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm 1 comment

Aloha Melissa

You know, this intermission has not been all work and no play.  Perhaps you’ll enjoy seeing some of the lovely Fetch crew in their downtime.  Against our will, we were forced to bid ‘Aloha’ (which you must know means hello & goodbye, so we expect to see her again) to our dear Melissa.  We forgive her for mistakenly thinking that her husband being stationed in California would be a legitimate reason to leave Fetch, and we await her return.  Melissa?

Melissa's Going Away Dinner

June 27, 2010 at 1:10 pm Leave a comment

My Neglected Blog

Kind of like how for no good reason I’ve been avoiding the multivitamin jar, I’ve fallen off my blog.  Taking on the launch, of a new brand as well as new store (Fish & Bone, at 217 Newbury Street, opening this summer),  in the continuum of challenges has felt somewhere between advanced placement tightrope-walking school & feeding bears salmon with your teeth.  I’m not complaining though, I’ve loved it; just didn’t know all of what I was getting into.  Which is good, because sometimes you’re better off not thinking about all the possible things you could set in motion when you flip one switch.

Now I’m neglecting my paperwork by writing my blog.  See, avoidance can be constructive if you channel it.  During my protracted intermission I have been figuring out better systems for keeping all of the social network platforms I’ve signed onto updated (including Fish & Bone on Twitter and on Facebook).  Tweetdeck seems to have improved a lot, so I picked up the newer version and I’m trying to figure out how to use it to update the blog too.  So please consider the intermission over.  I hope you’ll come back….there’s lots to tell about the launch & more suspense, I’m afraid, to come!

June 26, 2010 at 2:51 pm Leave a comment

LA and San Fran

I’ve been radio silent on this trip to LA & San Francisco b/c there is so much to do.  And I try to keep the posts content-driven.  But sometimes you just want to chat, right?  I know.  Well, here you go.

Arrived last week on a retail vision quest.  How do retailers solve problems of display and merchandising?  Only way to find out is to go and see.  I’m sure there are creative retailers in every metropolitan center but California is warm.  At least, in June, warmer than Maine, even if the sun isn’t shining (and it hasn’t been while I’ve been here, at least not on the coast).  I walked for hours in SF; all day, for the two days I was there.  Fascinating.  LA of course is more spread out, but the boutiques I checked out were in interesting neighborhoods.  Not surprisingly, various ‘hoods have their own culture and sometimes their own graphic vocabulary.  Tight cross-pollenation.  Like in Portland, or in Boston; but LA or SF-style.

So what can I tell you?  The world is getting more dog-friendly, first of all.  If we can do something about airline travel with animals, we’re all set; we can stay anywhere.  The West Coast is not as warm in June as you think.  And what I went looking for, solutions, like how best to display harnesses, are answered systemically.  Or at least, that’s how I see it.  What does that mean?  Whatever you are trying to solve, whether, like me, how to make a small retail space sell what it needs to sell at reasonable prices in order to create a successful business that impacts its community positively on multiple levels; or really any kind of problem, steep yourself in inspiration (hopefully away from your day-day life) in whatever form it takes, and let the solution find its expression from the roots up.  What we put out there in the world is our expression of how we see, and what we experience.

June 8, 2010 at 10:31 pm Leave a comment

Send your Sheddings to the Gulf to Mop up the Spill

Aren’t you glad your dog sheds?  For once, you can be.  Yes the clumps of fur collecting in the corner of the living room has a purpose!  Seriously.  Send it to Matter of Trust and they will put it in the hands of those cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf.

May 12, 2010 at 10:09 am Leave a comment

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